us qiyaamat-jalvah se bahutere ham se jii u;The;N
mar ga))e to mar ga))e ham us kii kyaa hogii kamii

1) through that Doomsday-glorious one, many {like us / in our manner} might/would come to life
2) if/when we died, then we died-- will that one have a shortage/lack/loss?!



jalvah : 'Manifestation, publicity, conspicuousness; splendour, lustre, effulgence'. (Platts p.387)


kamii : 'Littleness, scantiness; deficiency; deficit; paucity, scarcity, dearth, lack, want; decrease, diminution, abatement, reduction; fall (of prices); remission; loss'. (Platts p.849)

S. R. Faruqi:

To call the beloved, or the Lord Most High, qiyaamat-jalvah is a supremely eloquent idea. Here too [as in {453,3}], the word qiyaamat has been used very well, and provides two meanings. If qiyaamat-jalvah is taken as a quality of the beloved's, then the meaning is that the beloved's appearing in glory is a supremely rare thing, as if it provokes a Doomsday. The way on Doomsday everything will be destroyed, and men will die, in the same way the beloved's glory/appearance overthrows everything. And if we take qiyaamat-jalvah to mean the Lord Most High, then too it is fine, because on Resurrection Day people will be vouchsafed the sight of God.

Now let's go on. Independence/detachment is a quality of the beloved, and also of God. Thus Mir has also called the beloved .samad ; see


Then, it's also been said that if all men would die, or would refuse to worship the Lord Most High, no difference would occur in his lordship. Mir is saying that if we gave our life for the beloved (or having seen her glory), then so what? We would lose our life, and on her side (in her beauty, in her belovedness, in her lordship and kingship) there will be no shortage at all.

He has assembled a proof of this: that the beloved is qiyaamat-jalvah -- to how many others like us she can show her glory, and bring the dead to life! (If God should choose, he would bring anybody at all to life again, and on Doomsday he will after all bring everyone to life.) From this the conclusion emerges (or there comes to be an implication of this) that to give one's life for the belived is fruitless; there will be no effect on her. It's better to remain alive and make sincere efforts to win her favor.

Another verse like this will be hard to find, in which the meanings of human and divine passion would be treated with such equality, and would be present at the same time. The darvesh-like asceticism in the tone is also fine.



The versatility of ham jaise (of which ham se is here a contraction) includes both adjectival ('many like us') and adverbial ('many, in our manner,') possibilities. SRF adopts the former, which wipes out the speaker's individuality and generates an excellently cynical reading of the verse. But it's also quite possible to adopt the latter reading, which keeps the speaker's individuality open: 'many others would/might come to life in the manner in which we came to life.'

In the second line mar ga))e to mar ga))e ham also deserves a closer look. We grammar fans know that the to between the two clauses requires the insertion before the first clause of a colloquially-omitted agar or jab . SRF is, in effect, giving a rakish reading with agar : 'if we died, then we died-- so what? Nothing came of it!'. If instead we imagine a jab , the result is grim and irrevocable: 'when we died, then we died-- and that was the end of it'.

These two possibilities set us up to enjoy the full richness of the 'kya effect' in us kii kyaa hogii kamii . Here is the full range of possible readings:

=as if that one will have a shortage/lack! (of course not!); this is SRF's reading
=will that one have a shortage/lack? (a yes-or-no question)
=what a shortage/lack that one will have! (it will be a major one!)
=what shortage/lack will that one have? (what particular kind?-- taking kyaa as adjectival)

In other words, the verse sets up a full range of possible answers to the question of what the beloved (or the Beloved) would lose with the death of the speaker. SRF has chosen the most piquant-- the sharpest and most cynical. I love that choice. But I love it even more when it's framed by a hovering cloud of other possibilities. It could be said that I'm doing a Ghalibian reading here, as in


But why should Ghalib be thought to have a monopoly on humanistic perspectives? He was very ready to pick up strands of thought from his greatest predecessor.

Note for meter fans: We have to scan bahutere as b'hu-te-re (long-long-short). I don't care for it, but bahut already gets a lot of varying pronunciations (because of that h surrounded by two short vowels), so it can endure a few more.